Manchester City face Premier League new boys Norwich City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the visitors eager to erase the memory of their last visit.
In in Covid-disrupted season, City signed off in style with another 5-0 victory, to go with the other three City had achieved against Burnley, Newcastle and Brighton, as well as hitting four past champions Liverpool and relegation candidates Watford as the blue goal machine roared into action.
Kevin de Bruyne hit two goals, adding to strikes from Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez, and it could have been more had Norwich keeper Tim Krul not been in good form to deny Silva a farewell goal.
But City were for once thankful for VAR as a goal from Onel Hernandez was chalked off for offside with the score at 0-0. It was a decent finish from Hernandez, but Var showed he was clearly offside as he received the pass.
That spurred City into action and when de Bruyne sent Sterling away on the right, it looked like a goal was inevitable. And although Jesus did find the back of the net in the 11th minute, it was still a scrappy goal. Silva was denied as the ball was nicked off his toes, but the rebound fell to Jesus, who scrambled the ball home via a hand of Krul.
Teemu Pukki then had a glorious chance to level the score after City played a high-line in the Norwich half, with the ball rebounding to the Finnish international, who raced clear but was denied by Ederson. Todd Cantwell then tried to guide the rebound into the goal but it went over the bar, much to the relieve of the City defence.
City stepped up a gear and doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time. De Bruyne showed some neat footwork before curling a stunning shot into the top corner to make it 2-0.
The visitors were barely in the game in the second half as City threatened a goal on every attack, but they had to wait until the 79th minute to make it 3-0. Silva drove forward and passed to de Bruyne, who then released Sterling in the penalty area, and the England man tapped the ball past Krul to score City’s 100th Premier League goal of the season.
Norwich heads dropped and that opened the door for more goals. Four minutes later, Mahrez made it 4-0, and once again, de Bruyne was involved. His ball to Sterling was cut out, but the Belgian won the ball back on the edge of the penalty area and it fell nicely to Mahrez, who fired home from just inside the penalty area.
And there was still time for de Bruyne to cap a brilliant personal performance with another wonderful goal that summed up the Belgian’s afternoon. Mahrez danced his way into the penalty area and when his shot was blocked, the rebound spun out to de Bruyne. The Belgian shaped himself and curled a first time shot that went in off the post for 5-0.
After a 3-0 defeat at home to Liverpool last weekend, Canaries fans will be forgiven for fearing the worst against a City team that will be eager to get their season started after last weekend’s defeat at Spurs.